No. 3268 Private James Towe
James Towe was born in 1896 in Footscray Victoria to Joseph and Matilda Towe (nee Rock). He had eight brothers:
- Joseph Henry
- John James
- William Charles
- Edward Albert
- Robert George
- Richard Daniel
- Leslie Roy
- Sarah Matilda
- Rose Violet Victoria
- Emily Vera
- Alice Ivy
James enlisted into the Army at Melbourne, Victoria on 10 August 1915, without parental permission. His father wrote refusing consent on 19 August 1915, and Towe was discharged without pay on 28 August 1915. He then re enlisted on the 9 September 1915 after receiving his father Joseph Towe’s approval. (Army records have this letter)
At the time of his second enlistment, James was 18 years and 11 months, he was 5 feet and eight inches tall. James weighed 11 stone 7 pounds and had a chest measurement of thirty three to thirty six inches. His complexion was fresh, with blue eyes and light brown hair. His next of kin was listed as his father, Joseph Towe of Corornation Street, Footscray. All of this was recorded at the time of his enlistment.
James was a Private in the 21st Battalion and was initially detached to School of Instruction, Zeitoun (date not recorded); rejoined Battalion, Duntroon Plateau, from detachment on 29 April 1916. He embarked in Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force 18 June 1916, disembarking in Marseilles, France on 29 June 1916.
James was killed in action 19 July 1916. There is no known grave for James Towe, however there is a memorial for him at the V.C. Corner (Panel No 22), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles, France.
A small notice regarding his death in France, as well as a photograph, was published in the local press.
Independent (Footscray), 23 September 1916, p.2
Medal and Entitlements:
[received by his father Joseph Towe]
1916 'ROLL OF HONOR.', Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922), 23 September, p. 2, viewed 14 May, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74255336